• Governor vetoes bill limiting state entity in gas plan

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Bill Walker vetoed legislation Friday that sought to temporarily restrict participation of a state-sponsored corporation in an alternate gas pipeline project that he proposed. The veto was expected, though Walker has had talks with House Speaker Mike Chenault and Senate President Kevin Meyer on whether there might be a way forward that would bring both sides a measure of comfort. No agreement had been reached, Walker spokeswoman Grace Jang said Friday. Any veto override would require the support of 40 of the Legislature's 60 members. Thirty-seven lawmakers voted to pass the bill, while 21 voted against; two House members were excused the day the vote was taken on that side last month.

  • Group wants to bring back Native Hawaiian burial traditions

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    HONOLULU (AP) — A group of Native Hawaiians wants to bring back a centuries-old island burial practice that it says is more environmentally friendly than some modern interment methods. Traditional "clean burials" involve cleansing the deceased by fire in a pit and then compressing the skeletal remains, wrapping them in a cloth woven from trees, and burying them in a basket. Supporters note such burials use fewer chemicals and take up less space in cemeteries at a time when an aging population faces a limited amount of land. "We have a lot of elders who are concerned about having enough capacity to bury their families when it's time to go," said Mahealani Cypher, who represents the Koolau Foundation, which is pushing t

  • Advocate wants $648M payout for 'inappropriate' nuke talks

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two Southern California utilities should return at least $648 million to customers because of evidence of secret deal-making in a nearly $5 billion settlement following the closing of a nuclear power plant, a state agency said Friday. The Office of Ratepayer Advocates, an arm of the California Public Utilities Commission, said in a statement that private conversations between the commission's then-President Michael Peevey and a Southern California Edison executive gave the company an unfair advantage in negotiations over how to divide costs left behind by the now-defunct San Onofre plant. "These two individuals worked in secret to outline an acceptable financial settlement," the office said.

  • Family wins back seized gold coins that could be worth $80M

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A family was awarded the rights to 10 rare gold coins possibly worth $80 million or more on Friday after a U.S. appeals court overturned a jury verdict. U.S. Department of the Treasury officials insist the $20 Double Eagles were stolen from the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia before the 1933 series was melted down when the country went off the gold standard. They argued that Joan Langbord and her sons cannot lawfully own the coins, which she said she found in a family bank deposit box in 2003. Langbord's father, jeweler Israel Switt, had dealings with the Mint in the 1930s and was twice investigated over his coin holdings. A jury in 2012 sided with the government. However, the appeals court returned the

  • New York Citi Bikes soon to allow riders to count calories

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — New Yorkers may soon be able to count calories burned and miles traveled while pedaling Citi Bikes, the popular bicycle-sharing program with a troubled history that is undergoing a major overhaul under new leadership. The new CEO of the Brooklyn-based company that owns Citi Bike says a revamped smartphone app will soon offer such detailed fitness stats and allow people to make real-time reports of such issues as flat tires or broken seats.

  • Man gets 100-year term in murder of teacher in oil boom town

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    SIDNEY, Mont. (AP) — A man was sentenced to 100 years in prison Friday in a Montana teacher's murder — a case that local officials say robbed the victim's rural hometown of its innocence amid an oil boom that's swept across the Northern Plains. Michael Keith Spell, 25, of Parachute, Colorado, was sentenced following a hearing before state District Judge Richard Simonton in Sidney. Spell, who is mentally disabled and described by the defense as functionally illiterate, pleaded guilty in October to killing Sherry Arnold, 43, after attempting to abduct the popular math teacher as she was jogging near her home in 2012. Arnold's body was found months later buried in a shallow grave in a rural area near Williston, North D

  • US oil and natural gas rig count drops by 34 to 954

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by 34 this week to 954 amid depressed oil prices. Houston-based Baker Hughes said Friday 734 rigs were seeking oil and 217 explored for natural gas. Three were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, 1,831 rigs were active. Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas plummeted by 15 rigs; Oklahoma was down six; North Dakota lost five; Wyoming was down four; and California, Kansas and Pennsylvania each dropped two. Alaska, Arkansas, Ohio and Utah declined by one each. Louisiana rose by 5 while New Mexico gained two. Colorado and West Virginia were unchanged. The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530

  • Senator: Decade-old Gulf oil leak is 'unacceptable'

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A U.S. senator from Florida is pressing federal officials to disclose technical data and other information about a decade-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, after an investigation by The Associated Press revealed evidence that the spill is far worse than a company or government regulators have publicly reported. In a letter Friday to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Sen. Bill Nelson said it is "unacceptable" that oil is still leaking from the site off Louisiana's coast where an oil platform owned by Taylor Energy Company toppled during Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

  • After Alps crash, some experts ponder flights without pilots

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — To improve airline safety, maybe we need to remove the pilots. That radical idea is decades away, if it ever becomes a reality. But following the intentional crashing of Germanwings Flight 9525 by the co-pilot, a long-running debate over autonomous jets is resurfacing. At the very least, some have suggested allowing authorities on the ground to take control of a plane if there is a rogue pilot in the cockpit. The head of Germany's air traffic control agency on Wednesday became the latest to raise such a prospect. Such moves might seem logical in the aftermath of this crash, but industry experts warn that the technology is fraught with problems. Besides, no matter how tragic the deaths of the 149 other

  • Global finance leaders see economy strengthening

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Financial officials from the world's major economies on Friday welcomed modest improvements in the global economy while side-stepping fears rattling global financial markets that Greece will default on its bailout loans. The officials from the Group of 20 issued a joint communique that pledged greater efforts to boost confidence and reduce economic vulnerabilities. The meetings' chairman, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, said the problems confronting Greece did not come up during the two days of official discussions.

  • Washington governor repeats call for state auditor to resign

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday repeated his call for embattled state Auditor Troy Kelley to resign following his indictment by a federal grand jury. A letter from the governor was emailed Thursday night and then hand-delivered to the auditor's office Friday, Inslee spokesman David Postman said. Kelley pleaded not guilty to 10 felony counts on Thursday. The indictment charged him with filing false tax returns, attempting to obstruct a lawsuit and possessing more than $1 million in stolen property related to his former business. Trial was set for June 8. Inslee wrote that the indictment "makes it clear that you can no longer serve the citizens of Washington as state auditor.

  • Worker burns face, neck in explosion at Ohio chemical plant

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    MONROE, Ohio (AP) — A chemical explosion at a manufacturing plant in southwest Ohio has injured a worker. Fire and police officials in Monroe say the explosion at Alfrebro LLC occurred Friday afternoon. Monroe fire Chief John Centers says the worker was burned on his face and neck and was flown to a hospital in Dayton. The worker's condition is unknown. The fire chief says the explosion occurred as the worker was transferring a chemical from a 55-gallon drum into a larger container. He doesn't know the cause of the blast. A message seeking comment from Alfrebro hasn't been returned. The company's website says it manufactures natural and synthetic aroma chemicals, extracts and distillates.

  • Recalls this week: blowers, bike hooks, mattresses, toys

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    A line of bike hooks that can unexpectedly detach from their mounting are among this week's recalled consumer products. Other recalls include mattresses that failed flammability standards and truck and motorcycle toys with excessive amounts of lead. Here's a more detailed look: BIKE HOOKS DETAILS: Husky Securelock vertical bike hooks used with a Husky Trackwall garage storage system. The 3 inch by 3.5 inch black metal plate is mounted to the grooves in the Trackwall and the bike's tire is attached to a hook protruding from the plate. There are no markings on the hook. The Trackwall has "Husky" printed on the lower left corner. The hook holds up to a 35 pound bike. They were sold at Home Depot stores nationwide from Apri

  • China: New bank to enhance international finance system

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — China's proposed infrastructure bank for Asia is intended to complement, not replace, existing lenders dominated by the U.S. and Japan, a senior Chinese official said Friday. Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said after a meeting of the Group of 20 leading world economies that China has proposed the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, or AIIB, to help fill an estimated $8 trillion gap in infrastructure funding for the region over the next decade. Fifty-seven countries have signed up, including 16 of the world's 20 largest economies. Notable exceptions are the U.S. and Japan, which are the leading shareholders of the World Bank and Asian Development Bank and have expressed concerns over the new bank's go

  • Dominion Virginia Power to close coal ash ponds in state

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Dominion Virginia Power is closing all its coal ash ponds in the state to comply with new state and federal standards, the utility announced Friday. The closures will occur at Bremo Power Station in Fluvanna County, Chesapeake Energy Center in Chesapeake, Chesterfield Power Station in Chesterfield County, and Possum Point Power Station in Prince William County. The company no longer uses coal as a fuel at three of those power stations. Coal ash is what's left after the fuel is burned to generate electricity. Dominion said in a news release that the closures are in response to new standards governing so-called coal combustion residuals from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Virginia

  • Spanish official slams Greece, says time 'running out'

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Spain's Economy Minister Luis de Guindos criticized Greece's left-wing government for its "not very coherent" approach to negotiations over its finances and economy. "We have wasted very precious time over the last three or four weeks," de Guindos said in an interview Friday with The Associated Press. "They have not made a lot of friends." Greece has relied on loans from European creditors and the International Monetary Fund since 2010. It is in talks over the conditions for its next loan installment, without which it could default as soon as next month. That has sent Greece's borrowing costs soaring. De Guindos says he hopes significant progress in the negotiations will occur before a European finan

  • Suspicious vehicle at arsenal checkpoint prompts evacuation

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — A suspicious vehicle was stopped at a security checkpoint at an arsenal on Friday, triggering an evacuation and tying up traffic nearby, but it was later deemed to pose no explosive threat. The Picatinny Arsenal was evacuated for several hours after security personnel noticed something suspicious within the vehicle as it approached a gate. Authorities treated the situation as an explosive threat. The driver was detained and questioned, but it was unknown if he'll face criminal charges. Employees were instructed to leave the post Friday afternoon. A stretch of highway near the post was closed, causing major travel backups in the area throughout the evening commute.

  • Correction: Bird Flu story

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — In a story April 16 about bird flu, The Associated Press reported erroneously that recent outbreaks had led to the death of more than 2.5 million turkeys and chickens. The correct figure at the time was more than 2.4 million, and not all the birds slated to be euthanized had been. A corrected version of the story is below: USDA veterinarian: Bird flu outbreak could be 'devastating' Top USDA veterinarian: Bird flu outbreak may last for years and be 'devastating' to poultry By STEVE KARNOWSKI Associated Press ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The nation's poultry industry may have to live with a deadly bird flu strain for several years, which would be "devastating," the U.S.

  • Boost Mobile selling prepaid cards for Cuba calls and texts

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Sprint's Boost Mobile business is offering prepaid calling cards for Miami customers who want to call Cuba. Boost Mobile said Thursday that customers can pay $50 per month for a card that includes 5 gigabytes of high speed data and $60 a month for 10 GB of data. Both cards will give consumers the ability to talk on the phone for 15 minutes with unlimited texting. For a limited time, the company is also offering $15 cards with 50 minutes of talk time. Cuba charges some of the world's highest rates for long-distance calling, and calls into Cuba are also among the world's most expensive. In March a New Jersey-based company that sells discount international calling cards to immigrant communities said it st

  • GE posts $13.6 billion loss on finance unit sale

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The industrial heart of General Electric, the company's new focus, posted lower revenue and earnings in the first quarter amid an enormous overall loss resulting from its recently-announced sale of most of the assets in its finance subsidiary. Net income from the part of GE that the company will retain after the sale fell 5 percent to $3.1 billion, the company said Friday. Adjusted earnings per share fell 6 percent to 31 cents, a penny better than analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research expected, on average. Revenue fell 12 percent to $29.4 billion, below the $34.4 billion analysts expected.




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